DDI Events

Economic Development & Policy

Downtown Durham, Inc. hosts three major economic development and policy events per year, including the Annual Meeting, which recaps the organization's accomplishments over the past year and honors those who have been part of downtown Durham's success; a Speaker Series, which brings national and international experts to Durham to present forward-thinking concepts that catalyze conversation and spur policy debates; and the State of Downtown Durham, which updates and highlights what's happening in downtown Durham and what's on the horizon.

Annual Meeting

DDI's Annual Meeting is an update on the organization's progress and accomplishments over the previous year. It brings together elected officials, downtown businesses and DDI supporters to network, hear new ideas from national experts and celebrate the people who keep downtown Durham vibrant and growing.

2019 Annual Meeting
November 20, 2019


For the Love of Downtown Durham

Guest Speaker: Peter Kageyama, Author of For the Love of Cities

2018 Annual Meeting
November 29, 2018


The Next 25: Game Changing Trends That Will Shape Downtown Durham’s Future

Presented by: Durham.ID

Guest Speaker: Brad Segal of P.U.M.A.

Speaker Series

The three-part DDI Speaker Series brings experts to Durham to present innovative ideas that catalyze conversation about forward-thinking concepts. The free discussions are followed by networking receptions where members of the community can engage with the speaker in an informal environment. DDI also hosts follow-up meetings between the speaker, City and County officials and downtown stakeholders for a deeper dive into the topic.


Placemaking and
Economic Development
August 28, 2019


Presented by: Perkins+Will

Guest Speaker: Kendal Henry,
NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

Creating Equity in Commercial Ownership
September 24, 2019


Presented by: The Daniele Company and Clancy & Theys

Guest Speakers:
Molly North, President and CEO,
Al. Neyer
Carl Satterwhite, Founder, Real Estate Enterprises for African American Leaders

Building a Viable Affordable Housing Project
October 23, 2019


Presented by: McAdams

Guest Speakers:
Satyen Patel, Executive Chairman, Prescient
John Parvensky, President & CEO, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless


The Urban Freeway
Removal Movement

August 29, 2018


Presented by: McAdams

Guest Speaker: Ian Lockwood,
Toole Design Group 

Inclusive by Design
September 25, 2018


Presented by:

Guest Speaker: Zena Howard

Missing Middle Housing
October 17, 2018


Presented by:
Downtown Durham Inc.

Guest Speaker: Karen Parolek,
Opticos Design

State of Downtown Durham

This annual event highlights what’s happening now and what’s coming up in downtown Durham. A presentation from a nationally recognized speaker is followed by networking with partners, stakeholders and community members.

2023 State of Downtown Durham
April 19, 2023

Guest Speaker: David Downey, President & CEO, International Downtown Association

2022 State of Downtown Durham
June 15, 2022

Guest Speaker: Tracy Hadden-Loh, Fellow – Brookings Metro, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking

2021 State of Downtown Durham
April 21, 2020


The Way Forward

Guest Speaker: Bruce Katz, author and co-founder of New Localism Advisors

2019 State of Downtown Durham
April 24, 2019


Downtown Then and Now

Presented by: The Tower at Mutual Plaza

Guest Speaker: Cathy Lin of International Downtown Association

2018 State of Downtown Durham
April 17, 2018


The Value of Downtowns

Presented by: Wexford Sci Tech

Guest Speaker: Joe Minicozzi of Urban 3

Cultural Vibrancy

As part of its mission to build a strong, vibrant and inclusive downtown community, DDI hosts and supports events that highlight and celebrate Durham's creative cultures.

Public Space Project

Public Space Project features edgy, audacious ideas that push the art envelope. DDI provides grants to individuals and organizations who will bring unifying, creative, free of charge experiences to downtown Durham public spaces.


Explore downtown Durham's galleries, artist studios, shops, restaurants, and music during this art walk from 6-9 p.m. every Third Friday. DDI markets Third Friday and supports the event by providing music and interactive programming in public spaces.

Tree Lighting @CCB Plaza

A fanciful, danceable tree lighting at CCB Plaza (near Major the Bull) immediately following the Tower Lighting at the American Tobacco Campus.


DDI has partnered with GoDurham to bring music and food to travelers and members of the community at the Durham Station Transportation Center from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Third Fridays – a great way to kick off a Third Friday evening.